Consumer survey finds ethics on the rise

A new survey by beauty retailer, The Body Shop, indicates that in spite of the tough economic climate, ethics are as important, if not more important, than price with today’s increasingly eco-conscious consumers.

In the US the findings revealed that 76% of consumers are making more purchasing choices based on the corporate behaviour and ethics of a company than they were five years ago and 43% of those polled say that they make those purchasing decisions on a weekly basis.

“Green isn’t going away, but consumers will be working overtime to add up the ‘value’ of all their purchases. They’ll be asking questions like ‘How good is it for the environment versus the other brand?’ and ‘What other personal benefits are tucked in here?'” said cultural trend research company Iconoculture consumer strategist for VP, Corinne Asturias.

Other findings included:

  • 70% of respondents cited quality of goods and trust in the brand as their criteria for buying a product.
  • 39% said they purchase based on the ethical reputation of a company.
  • 38% said price and value is their criteria for purchase.

“A growing number of people are demanding more from the businesses that produce and sell the goods they buy,” said The Body Shop’s director of brand & values initiatives, Shelley Simmons.

“Not only do they feel they have the right to a high quality product, they want to know that the company they buy from is transparent and honest about how those goods reach the shelves.

“They want the story behind the product that assures them that the company has treated its suppliers fairly and that it has done its best to take into account its impact on the environment; and that perhaps someone has actually benefited from the sale of that product.

“The retail world is going to have to take notice of this powerful group of consumers. If they respond to the expectations of the eco-shopper everyone will benefit: Customers, suppliers, the planet and the businesses themselves. It is a win-win for everyone.”

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